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Inbox: Every rep serves a purpose

Jordan Love has put every minute to good use this offseason


Sam from San Diego, CA

With all the talk of expectations for this upcoming season, I'm reminded of the coldest quote of all time from Wes. "Don't know. Don't care. In Green Bay, expectations aren't derived from national narratives or TV talking points. It comes from the 'G' on the helmet. That's the standard."

Either I was hurting or feeling it that day. Maybe both?

Eric from Springfield, VA

My firstborn turned one month yesterday. I was fully detached from II for three weeks and have been dipping my toes back into the tribe. My hopes for the season, which mimic my view on fatherhood so far, are youth on the team is refreshing (and exhausting), growing pains are inevitable but worth it, just watch and enjoy the ride as it will be over too soon and, of course, memories make you rich. I can't wait to take him back to GB to visit family and bring his bike to training camp.

You said it better than I ever could, Eric. You hit the nail on the toe when speaking about the growing pains involved with a young football team. I was part of Tucker Kraft's scrum on Thursday, as he was talking about the process of learning the playbook, going through walkthroughs, and applying that preparation to the practice field. There is a lot of thinking involved right now, but every rep serves a purpose. Enjoy your time with the newborn!

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Heard anything on when the pads go on? Monday perhaps?

MONDAY! MONDAY! MONDAY! Per the CBA, teams are prohibited from putting on pads until after their fourth camp practice.

Stacy from Greenville, OH

With all the shakeup around the NFL and having Jordan Love as our starting QB now, how confident are the Packers in getting back to the top of the NFC North?

We're still so far away from the regular season, but I would say it's anyone's division for the taking. Teams rise and fall every season, and the Packers feel like a team to me that's climbing their way back up.

John from McHenry, IL

I got the biggest kick out of watching Caleb Jones pushing people around with those long arms during last year's preseason. One would think his immense size could get him some action this season. Any idea what his chances are of making the 53?

Just when I think I couldn't be any more impressed with Jones' physical stature, I saw the second-year tackle reach his arms out while working field-goal protection units. Jones' wingspan is ridiculous. He is a uniquely gifted athlete whom the Packers are working to mold into an NFL tackle. It's a low-risk, high-reward development process.

Ross from Summerville, SC

Gents, De'Vondre Campbell seems to have a chip on his shoulder this year. Here's hoping we see a return to the 2021 form he showed. This defense really heeds him to be steady.

I feel we're going to see a very hungry and driven De'Vondre Campbell this year. 'Dre has never been short on motivation, but his social-media posts suggest he's ready to prove he is still one of the very best at his position. Campbell is still only 30 and extraordinarily athletic. So, my stance hasn't changed since last year. I like the long-term potential of having Campbell and Quay Walker at the heart of this defense.

Visti from Farum, Denmark

All the excitement about the young Jordan Love being our starter, I'm not concerned about him playing. He's been doing that pretty much always. But it has to be scary that we as fans expect him to lead the team in training camp for the next 15 years. I hope he embraces the grind.

Love absolutely does. He's gone above and beyond to lead by example this summer. Again, I don't know what will happen in Chicago or the 16 regular-season games that follow, but Jordan Love hasn't stopped working since he got here. He's put every minute to good use.

Tyler from Merrill, WI

I know everyone is curious about Jordan Love, but how have Danny Etling, Sean Clifford, and Alex McGough looked? I expect a fierce battle for the backup position.

McGough has a live arm and is very much in this thing. He took No. 3 team reps ahead of Clifford on Thursday. These preseason games should be fun to watch, especially with only one final cut now at the end of training camp instead of multiple.

Al from Green Bay, WI

With just three practice sessions in the books, have we learned anything in the position battles at safety and right tackle?

We need to see Zach Tom and Yosh Nijman in pads before we become any wiser on the battle at right tackle, but Rudy Ford lined up next to Darnell Savage during the first two days of practice. On Friday, Jonathan Owens, Tarvarius Moore and Dallin Leavitt took some snaps with Savage but only after Ford started there.

The Green Bay Packers held their third practice of training camp on Friday, July 28, at Ray Nitschke Field.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

Both Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers had unique improvising talents Packer fans are well aware of. However, at some level, all QBs do. Can you comment on what made theirs truly unique and whether Jordan Love has shown things in that area either with GB or at the college level?

It's not that Favre and Rodgers improvised – it's how they improvised and the greatness that was created because of it. I have full confidence in Love's improvisational skills and ability to extend plays, but the key is listening to Tom Clements' creed and protecting the football in those situations. That's where Rodgers was brilliant.

Fred from Stillwater, MN

With the excitement of Nixon on kick return duties, his assumed role in the nickel, and his desire to have a go on offense I was wondering if there was ever a player (Packers or otherwise) to contribute points in all three phases of the game?

Don Hutson. He had 30 interceptions during his NFL career, including one touchdown during the 1943 season. He led the league with 197 INT return yards that year.

Dan from Waupun, WI

What is a calf strain? Joe Burrow suffered a calf strain. Is this from not stretching? Dehydrated? Not running enough?

Burrow's injury is not only a tough break for the Bengals but also the Packers. I assume Cincinnati will be extra careful with him throughout the rest of training camp, and Zac Taylor said he'll be out multiple weeks, meaning he won't practice against Green Bay on Aug. 9. Calf strains are tricky and can easily worsen (see: Aaron Rodgers' 2014 campaign).

Janet from Auburn, WA

Are you surprised at all by the Jonathan Garvin release? I always liked his energy on the field. The Packers obviously feel pretty confident in the other guys at the linebacker position to make a move like this so early in camp.

Not really. The Packers have a lot of options at outside linebacker, including intriguing undrafted rookie Brenton Cox. In fact, Garvin was actually working with the interior defensive line earlier this week.

Phil from Madison, WI

I'm sorry David from Minneapolis, but any coach suspended for an entire season for putting a bounty on opposing players is not a great coach. The recent Hackett comments just reinforce that he is also a poor human being.

Nathaniel Hackett is a great man and fantastic coach. I don't have much else to say other than you can support your team and quarterback without diminishing others.

Eddie from Fort Myers, FL

There's been a lot of talk about Luke Musgrave getting the nod and working with the first unit, and even some mention of Kraft, but I feel like we haven't heard a peep about Josiah Deguara or Tyler Davis this offseason. What are II's thoughts on this? I still have a feeling we're going to hear Deguara's name called out more this season, at least early on.

Deguara is working with the first team but plays more as the F tight end (H-back). He's been out there quite a bit with Musgrave the in-line option on the line of scrimmage. Davis has been working with Kraft on the second team but also is a core player on Rich Bisaccia's special teams.

John from Hudson, WI

Please explain the off-white mushroom like helmets, and how does Dontayvion Wicks get a concussion wearing one in a non-padded practice?

Those are guardian caps that players in the offensive and defensive front are required to wear during the first two weeks of training camp. Since he's a perimeter player, Wicks isn't required to wear it.

Matt from Cottage Grove, WI

Could you see the Packers bringing back Marcedes Lewis to be used as a blocking tight end if Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft struggle early on with pass and run blocking?


Dave from Gwinn, MI

With the international player program, the Packers basically have a free roster spot as long as that player is either on the active roster or the practice squad. So that player basically has a year to learn the system and develop enough to make either the main roster or practice squad of GB (or another team) next year, correct?

You almost have that entirely correct. The Packers get an extra practice-squad slot to retain Udumegwu after training camp, but he'd have to make the 53 to be on the active roster.

Mark from Normal, IL

The franchise tag was created as the NFL answer to the Larry Bird rule in the NBA, allowing a team to keep its best player. As such, there shouldn't be position-specific tag numbers. If the player is "The Franchise Player" for the team, then pay him a franchise salary. Unfortunately, the NFL owners know what a good deal the tag is on the lower-paid positions, so it will take the NFLPA standing up for all the players to make it change.

Bingo…and we're seven years away from the next negotiation. In the interim, I think a proven-performance escalator based on touches could be helpful for skill-position players on their first contract.

Jeff from Mequon, WI

Over the past few years, teams have become more aggressive on fourth down, in general. Assuming the Packers stick with Anders Carlson as the only kicker on the 53, do you think we will see Matt LaFleur be more aggressive in fourth-and-short situations where the alternative is a 50-plus-yard field goal? More punts in fourth-and-long from the same field position?

"All gas, no brake" is a core tenet of LaFleur's coaching philosophy. Those decisions will be based more on analytics and feel than the situation at kicker.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Wes, now that James from Appleton has brought words of the philosopher Aristotle into the Inbox, I wonder if you have any prophetic words from Nostradamus as to the upcoming Packer season? I'm guessing though that I wouldn't bet on his predictions any more than I did on Jimmy the Greek.

"After there is great trouble among mankind, a greater one is prepared. The great mover of the universe will renew time, rain, blood, thirst, famine, steel weapons and disease. In the heavens, a fire seen"

Cameron from Nashville, TN

I really enjoy the live look-in during practices. Just wanted to say thanks for everything, it means a lot to us out-of-town fans.

We live to serve.

Hannes from Glendale, WI

Lowered expectations and fan relaxation are nice and all during summertime, but do you actually see that carry over into the regular season?

It sounds great in theory, doesn't it? But at the end of the day, fan bases want winners. Everyone understands that. One more practice before the most glorious day off ever. Have a great weekend, everyone.

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